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Author Topic: Teach directly, or teach teachers?  (Read 412 times)

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Offline Bob Goodman

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Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« on: December 07, 2018, 05:13:23 PM »
In the deciding-on-a-QB thread, Dave Potter asked a question that was directed at a particular coach about a particular position, but I thought, wow that's an interesting question for everyone if it's generalized:
Quote
Do you want to teach [players], or would you rather tell another coach how to teach them...?
If I had to choose only one or ther other, I'd have a tough choice there.

I got "here" by a different route from many of you.  I'd never played adult-organized football, though I had played rugby as an adult.  I've never had children.  However, I liked discussing football in a way that few other than coaches do, and I wound up doing so on Delphi's single wing, etc. forum.  Seemed every participant there other than me was a current or former coach, and they encouraged me to get into coaching.  So I did.

Although my initial impulse was that I'd prefer working with adults, as I'd been teaching in college (most above the traditional college age), and I thought I might particularly enjoy coaching on one of the women's teams I'd been following, it was easier to find a volunteer opening with children, and I immediately took to it.  I'd always loved OPC (other people's children), and being around them generally brightens my mood.  And I very much enjoy teaching and tutoring.

But there are lots of things I very much enjoy yet am not good at.  I think I'm fairly good now at coaching, but I don't always "connect" so well -- or even realize that I haven't connected well.  Where I'd been teaching at the time I started coaching, the division head very much appreciated my methods.  However, the dept. head where I'm teaching now fired me in Oct. -- an unusual move, mid-term -- because my students complained too much.  Seems I wasn't connecting well w them.

Still, I very much enjoy participating in coach-to-coach discussions online.  Often I think that, as much joy as I get out of coaching directly, I'd rather be a HC who mostly coaches the coaches and doesn't interact as much directly w the players.  Fortunately I don't have to choose, or at least not right now.

So I'm asking DP's question to the rest of you: If you could do only one, would you rather coach coaches or coach players directly?

Offline Wing-n-It

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 06:05:55 PM »
Because I already educate adults I'm drawn to teaching adults

I am involved with teaching adults how to teach so when it came to teaching my coaches I loved doing that.

One of my coaches decided to start teaching passing on the second day of offense install to which I asked him not to.
While coaching the OLine I looked over and saw another ball in the air so I relieved him of his duties as a coach and had someone who would follow orders a little closer.

Apparently he was going to do what he wanted and not what I had taught the coaches so from that aspect I would rather teach the kids as they listen a lot better than the adults do.

Most kids do not have preconceived notions on things so they tend to listen better.

Now that I went round about and gave no real answer because its not really a black and white question or answer
Robert

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge

Offline CHARLIEDONTSURF

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2018, 07:57:09 PM »
I do both but I prefer coaching players.

Part of it is personality.  I'm more wartime lieutenant than I am peacetime general (or even wartime general).  I enjoy managing change and being close to process. 

Part of it is personality flaws.  My need to control outcomes.  The fact that I have great sympathy for kids and none at all for most adults.  I also develop stronger bonds with my players than I do with coaches, and maybe that says something about me needing to matter, I don't know.  What I do know is watching my kids sometimes feels like watching a flower open.  I don't have the same fascination/gratitude for anything (or anyone) I might influence by proxy.

I train hunting dogs in my spare time, and so maybe there's a common denominator in there, haha.  I do think the best coaching book ever written is Water Dog by Richard Wolters (1964).  Sure, it's a book about training Labradors, but everything you need is in there.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 07:59:11 PM by CHARLEYDONTSURF »

Offline MHcoach

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 09:29:06 AM »
CDS

I love pointers! I have 3 Bracco Italiano's.  Mine are trained to hunt lizards & point cookies.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline MHcoach

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 09:53:03 AM »
Bob

Coaching coaches is always the ideal. Where it fails is in the execution. I have over the years experienced this many times, there is a disconnect from the white board to the field. The other issue is energy, not all coaches will bring the level of energy needed to run drills well.

The next issue is the ability to recognize what is happening on the field in a game. The ability to make fast adjustments correctly is something that is learned. Coaching the coaches means having the patience to let a coach figure things out. When I had a young DC, I would often let him go a 1/4 before giving him the answer.

Lastly, MOJO is a part of the equasion. I'm not sure how teach a coach to be able to motivate without being fake. When I motivate a team it's just natural.

Great question, I'm not sure there is a simple answer. This is why I tell young coaches go watch good teams  practice & learn what they do.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline CHARLIEDONTSURF

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 04:40:59 PM »
The next issue is the ability to recognize what is happening on the field in a game. The ability to make fast adjustments correctly is something that is learned.

Don't know if it's same for everyone, but this aspect of coaching was hardest for me.  It was 10 years before I felt I had both hands on the wolf on gameday.

I'm in a good place, but I still envy guys who can see in 6 seconds what literally takes me six passes in Hudl, haha.

Favorite example: In 2014, Ty Detmer was coaching h.s. ball in Austin.  He let us use his fields on Mondays and, after varsity practice, he'd stick around and help with offense.  I remember we'd run a play and blow it dead and he'd go around the horn and point out 11 things that happened.  (I maybe saw 4.)  And just when I thought he was done addressing the players, he'd wheel around and face the awayside kids and say, "And you ... you're supposed to do X when he does Y, right?  And you... it's okay to release inside but get back on top of him, okay?"

I once asked him about it and he credited Norm Chow with teaching him to narrow and expand his vision.  That, and years spent filling his head with flash cards.  There's no getting around "hours-logged."

It's possible I've missed them, but I feel a good resource aimed at helping new coaches understand how to do things like watch games and break down film would be welcome.  I wasted a lot of time learning to be process-oriented and then arriving at the right processes.  I think it's natural to oscillate between watching too little and too much before you learn to watch what matters (and learn to do same for your spotters and assistants).

It's also probably the most important topic about which new coaches ask the fewest questions.  At least, that's been my experience.

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 05:54:30 PM »
Honestly, Both are required!   

When I have folks who "Want To" Coach, I give them reference material and we go from there.  If they refuse the material, then.....its obvious who to teach!   
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline MHcoach

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 06:28:01 PM »
The ability to look at a play & see what's happening is something that only happens with experience.The biggest error I see young coaches make, is they make a call & don't see why it did't work. Sometimes it's as simple as Johnny missed his block or Billy missed the tackle. Other times it can be more involved, Billy got to far up field & Johnny got washed down. The thing is a coach has to understand how all 11 players fit together.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline mahonz

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2018, 10:36:31 AM »
If I had to choose it would be coaching coaches.

In business I have been told I am a very good teacher. I think that is basically true with coaching as well. That connection that Joe refers to is the key. I think I do that pretty well and keep everyone engaged. Yet plenty of coaches have more energy than I do so there is that....so I let them run with it. 
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline CHARLIEDONTSURF

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2018, 12:59:28 PM »
The ability to look at a play & see what's happening is something that only happens with experience. The biggest error I see young coaches make, is they make a call & don't see why it did't work.

I'll add to your example and say an equally dangerous error is not understanding why a thing worked.  When things go bad, a coach is at least forced to do an autopsy, either on the spot or later in film.  But success can be affirming.  I've seen a lot of coaches go through a game (or entire season) and never realize they were just Billy Madison playing dodgeball.  They get exposed by the first playoff team they meet and chalk it up to "Well, our boys just didn't show up today."

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Teach directly, or teach teachers?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2018, 03:04:07 PM »
I'll add to your example and say an equally dangerous error is not understanding why a thing worked.  When things go bad, a coach is at least forced to do an autopsy, either on the spot or later in film.  But success can be affirming.  I've seen a lot of coaches go through a game (or entire season) and never realize they were just Billy Madison playing dodgeball.  They get exposed by the first playoff team they meet and chalk it up to "Well, our boys just didn't show up today."

Exactly.  One of the worst things that can happen to a team is for them to win the game (handily), yet not realize whether they were fundamentally poor that day.  Big wins usually leads to a lot of coaches overlooking problem areas because they don't realize how bad their opponent was.

--Dave
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

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